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First Hemp Crop: 20 SD Farmers Plant 2,000 Acres; RC Studio Insulates with Hempcrete

Industrial hemp is blossoming slowly in South Dakota. After a couple years of state-government foot-dragging, 20 South Dakota farmers are growing about 2,000 acres of  hemp. This inaugural crop constitutes 0.01% of South Dakota’s 19 million acres of cropland. 2,000 acres is less than a fifth of the land dedicated to pulse crops in South Dakota and probably less than the truck spillage coming off our 2.2 million acres of alfalfa, 2.7 million acres of wheat, 3.6 million acres of hay, 4.1 million acres of soybeans, and 4.5 million acres of corn. But it’s a start.

South Dakota Industrial Hemp Association exec Katie Sieverding tells WNAX that most of that hemp is being grown for grain and fiber, while 35 acres is intended to produce CBD. Sieverding says three businesses have obtained licenses to process hemp near Willow Lake (Derrick Dohmann’s Horizon Hemp Seeds), Winfred (that’s my friend and Lake County’s former Republican state’s attorney Ken Meyer!), and Sioux Falls.

Lots of market outlets await those early growers’ product. Hempcrete—lime and water mixed with shredded hemp hurd—is already part of a new green building project in Rapid City:

Rapid City’s newest claim to fame is hempcrete. The environmentally friendly material is transforming a portion of the Aby’s Seed & Feed Complex downtown.

…”It’s the only hempcrete recording studio in the world,” [owner Jeremy] Briggs said.

…”I always had a passion for hemp because of its sustainable, environmentally friendly nature,” he said. “Hemp is easy to grow, requires less water, grows without the use of toxic chemicals, and sequesters carbon, because carbon from the air is literally built in the wall…. It’s virtually non-toxic to be around, and it sets a good example (of sustainable building practices}” [Tanya Manus, “Hemp Being Used to Help Redevelop Aby’s Complex in Downtown Rapid City,” Rapid City Journal via Cannabis PR Network, 2021.06.26].

But be careful: hempcrete is not a load-bearing material. It’s only 5% as dense as regular concrete, and it will biodegrade. You can’t use hempcrete for a foundation, but you can insulate and plaster with it. And that’s on top of making hemp rope, hemp paper, hemp fabric, hemp plywood….

With all those uses, you’d think those 2,000 acres could quickly expand to 20,000, or 200,000. Heck, maybe once we get our first hemp crop and see it sell, we’ll see hemp become that Next Big Thing Governor Noem said she was looking for two years ago.


  1. Bob Newland 2021-06-30

    Between 2001 and 2012, Jeremy Briggs and I successfully initiated and circulated at least six petitions to remove SoDak’s barbaric and ignorant laws regarding cannabis production and use. In addition, we lobbied the legislature to remove SoDak’s barbaric and ignorant laws regarding cannabis production and use. SoDakians voted several times on hemp and medical cannabis during that period.

    Melissa Mentele and Elizabeth Tiger picked up the shreds of our efforts and successfully initiated and circulated petitions, bringing the issues to a vote at least twice prior to 2020, when voters resoundingly approved medical use and, for that matter, all use, of cannabis.

    SoDak’s ignorant and barbaric governess then recruited two ignorant and barbaric lawdogs to sue the voters.


  2. Mark Anderson 2021-06-30

    You know, America is becoming a minefield of individual state laws. Don’t cross any borders with your weed folks. Its medical in some, recreational in others and demon weed in grudz mind. National laws are needed to clear up the mess.

  3. DaveFN 2021-06-30

    That’s my assessment also, Mark.

    I see little need for physicians to certify a patient for a “card” were they to have more authority to prescribe THC/CBD medicines that already exist. Correct me if I am wrong, but Ravnsborg has allowed Epidiolex only to be prescribed in SD, when FDA Marinol and Cesamet have also been FDA approved. I can but guess that the latter two, containing as they do so-called “synthetic THC” scare the daylights out of Noem and Ravnsborg (Epidiolex contains non-psychoactive CBD only).

    What’s more is that there are a host of medications with varying concentrations of THC, CBD, or both used in Europe:

    Taking physicians out of the loop as card-certifiers and allowing them more options for prescription medications would allow focus on recreational marijuana. I suppose the loss of tax revenues on “medical marijuana” is driving the show?

  4. grudznick 2021-06-30

    This blogging proves grudznick was right about all the whining libbies who were suddenly sympathetic to farmers a couple years ago. This is not about farming. It is about getting all toked up on the demon weed and then raging and doing drug-laced perversities in public.

    20 farmers with 100 acres on average? BuwahahahaHaHaHAHA

  5. leslie 2021-06-30

    For perspective Pactola/Deerfield storage waters a million dollars worth of Rapid Valley alfalfa/hay—perhaps twice that today. Hot summers require more drawdowns (55 feet in the late 80s).

  6. M 2021-07-01

    Well ya all, this legalization has been in the works on a national level, with the House of Reps in favor and the Senate not taking up the bill at all. Moscow Mitch didn’t consider it during the Terrible Trump years. And Republicans will block it if it does come up for a vote because they are CAVE people. (Citizens Against Virtually Everything?

    If people don’t understand or like something in this country, they want it to be illegal. Pubs want to control the way people think, behave, and live and expect everyone to be like them, whiny and hateful. Most of it is because they are not happy and perhaps do need to toke a little to balance out the emotions. Don’t want to become an Archie Bunker? Smoke pot.

  7. Richard Schriever 2021-07-01

    I was just reflecting the other day that the former guy was substantially simply the Manhattan version of ol’ Archie.

  8. Jake 2021-07-01

    grudz-bet your buddies the “Proud Boys” were toked up on MJ on Jan 6!

  9. grudznick 2021-07-01

    Mr. Jake, please pay closer attention to the world around you. grudznick has large distaste for President Trump and his minions, all of whom are insaner than most.

  10. Porter Lansing 2021-07-01

    Why does Governor Noem close her eyes when she’s having intercourse?

    She just can’t bear to see a guy having a good time.

    HEMP VODKA, anyone?
    -After years of experimental distilling, Houston natives Ben Williams and master distiller Dr. Wendell Robbins III launched Highway Vodka, the first hemp seed vodka—and Black-owned distillery—in Texas.
    ICYMI, head over to @beardfoundation on Instagram to check out their recent takeover!

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